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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Ding, C. Y., Cai, Y. Z., Xiao, Z. Y., and Su, Y. (2020). A rocky hill on the continuous ejecta of Ziwei crater revealed by the Chang’e-3 mission. Earth Planet. Phys., 4(2), 105–110doi: 10.26464/epp2020016

2020, 4(2): 105-110. doi: 10.26464/epp2020016


A rocky hill on the continuous ejecta of Ziwei crater revealed by the Chang’e-3 mission


School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai Guangdong 519082, China


State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, Space Science Institute, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau 999078, China


Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, Hefei 230026, China


Key Laboratory of Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China

Corresponding author: ZhiYong Xiao,

Received Date: 2019-10-15
Web Publishing Date: 2020-03-01

The Chinese Chang'e-3 mission landed close to the eastern rim of the ~450 m diameter Ziwei crater. Regional stratigraphy of the landing site and impact excavation model suggest that the bulk continuous ejecta deposits of the Ziwei crater are composed by Erathothenian-aged mare basalts. Along the traverse of the Yutu rover, the western segment features a gentle topographic uplift (~0.5 m high over ~4 m), which is spatially connected with the structurally-uplifted crater rim. Assuming that this broad topographic uplift has physical properties discontinuous with materials below, we use data returned by the high-frequency lunar penetrating radar onboard the Yutu rover to estimate the possible range of relative permittivity for this topographic uplift. Only when the relative permittivity is ~9 is the observed radar reflection consistent with the observed topography, suggesting that the topographic uplift is composed of basaltic blocks that were excavated by the Ziwei crater. This result is consistent both with the impact excavation model that predicts deeper basaltic materials being deposited closer to the crater rim, and with observation of numerous half-buried boulders on the surface of this hill. We note that this study is the first to use topography and radargram data to estimate the relative permittivity of lunar surface uplifts, an approach that has had many successful applications on Mars. Similar approaches can apply other ground penetrating radar data for the Moon, such as will be available from the ongoing Chang'e-4 mission.

Key words: lunar penetrating radar; impact crater; ejecta deposits; Chang'e-3; permittivity; Moon

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A rocky hill on the continuous ejecta of Ziwei crater revealed by the Chang’e-3 mission

ChunYu Ding, YuZhen Cai, ZhiYong Xiao, Yan Su